The U.S. boasted 6.2 million job openings in June, a record level, according to a Labor Department report published on Tuesday.

There have never been this many job openings in America

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Okay, here we go again. Three points, if I may:

Firstly, about the gratuitous video at the first link, Refugees filling job gaps created by drugs, this is looking like more BS from CNN. Just like their last news story touted "good factory jobs" passed up by drug users (which jobs turned out to be temp jobs), this time they're touting factory jobs paying $8 to $14 per hour, even as the company's owner bitches about how Obamacare is killing his business (so he may be among that nearly half of manufacturers hiring just temp workers now, too, although I couldn't confirm it). As one of his own employees says at that last link, “it's not a surviving wage if you have a family, no." The link also says temperatures exceeded 100 degrees on the factory floor when it was 15 degrees outside. Which I guess is why the four reviews from current or former employees at glassdoor collectively rated the company 1.3 stars out of a possible 5. So really, who cares whether the U. S. created 388,000 manufacturing jobs like these last month or 3.8 million of 'em. They're shit jobs.

Secondly, if we look at the chart (on the left) that's part of the very first page of this BLS release for June, we can see at a glance that the net jobs across all industries--that is, the difference between hires and separations--over just the last three years is shrinking, not growing. The two percent difference has shrunk to a 1 percent difference since 2014, so fewer net jobs.

Thirdly, if we scroll down to page 5 of that same report (under the heading "Employment"), we see that among these job openings reported that term "employment" includes part-time, short term, and seasonal workers, as well as temporary help agency workers, employee leasing company workers, outside contractors, and consultants--and that is where every study conducted over the last 12 years tells us the shift in "employment" is taking place.

Again, Larry Katz and Alan Krueger, both former chief economists for the Department of Labor, agree that contingent work accounts for between 80 and 100 percent of the net employment growth since 2005.

That's huge, that's reporting the BLS hasn't given us in this or any news release since 2005, and that's why this upcoming Contingent Worker Supplement for which data were collected in May 2017 is so important: It will allow us to see not just where these new jobs are occurring, but what exactly is the nature of the so-called new "jobs."

This press release, meanwhile, tells us scarce little.

tlc's picture

As I'd Suspected

Thank you for making the effort to break down the data, Tamara.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


The crankiness in my post up there wasn't directed at you, I hope you realized.

I'm starting to suspect CNN of having some sort of agenda, after spotting these two recent stories in which they paint America's would-be factory workers as lazy drug addicts unwilling to work any of these dandy temporary or near-minimum wage jobs (in economic hellholes like Hubbard, OH or Erie, PA, no less). Sure looks to me like they're confusing cause and effect.

(BTW, just caught my umpteenth mistake in that above post: The chart I referred to on page one of the BLS press release, that reveals net jobs are shrinking, appears on the right side of that page, not the left. I won't aggravate folks by editing it yet again.)

bizgrrl's picture

I find it amusing when I get

I find it amusing when I get emails from LinkedIn announcing there are 10-15,000 jobs in the Knoxville area.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I get emails from LinkedIn telling me about "employment opportunities" as a volunteer.

And that pays my mortgage how?!

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Heh. As many mistakes as I've made in this thread, I must be typing and reading too quickly this evening...

When I replied to "tlc" up there, jbr, I had imagined I was replying to you, I suppose because you're both using three-letter screen names? Or something???

Anyway, it was you, jbr, whom I wanted to assure I didn't mean to offend with my snappiness. Irritated with CNN, is all.

(Nice to meet you, tlc!)

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Well, Minneapolis gets it. Going on there this week:

The Fringe Festival will present the premiere of “The New Gig Economy, A Musical” which explores the travails of contingent workers struggling to survive without permanent employment in today’s economy.

Running from Aug. 3 to Aug. 13, the festival features hundreds of performances by numerous artists of all backgrounds.

"The New Gig Economy" is co-authored by Phil Finkelstein and Jay Juran.

Finkelstein worked for 25 years as a staff attorney for the Minnesota Nurses Association. Now in semi-retirement, he has worked temporary jobs in what economists have begun calling the “gig economy” — where workers get temporary job assignments without the wages, benefits and other guarantees of permanent employment.

Finkelstein said an estimated 25-30 percent of new jobs fall under this category. “That’s a tough way to make a living.”

“I wrote this musical because of my concern over the increasing use of contingent workers who have no benefits, hours, or future,” Finkelstein said. “Rather than write another one of my whiny novels, I thought a musical comedy might be more fun.”

Finkelstein's a bit off as to how many "new jobs" are contingent, though. Per my link in that above post, former DoL chief economists Katz and Krueger think 80 to 100 percent of "new jobs" are contingent. That "25-30 percent" is more likely the entirety of the workforce now living this way, not just the newly employed.

Laugh or cry, I guess...

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